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REMINDER: Compensation for Western Union Scam Is Now Available for Victims

February 27, 2018

ATLANTA, GA - Attorney General Chris Carr joins The Federal Trade Commission in alerting consumers who lost money to scammers who told them to pay via Western Union’s money transfer system between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, that they can now file a claim to get their money back by going to FTC.gov/WU before May 31, 2018.

“Criminal scam artists are adept at developing all kinds of schemes to convince consumers to wire them money,” said Attorney General Chris Carr. “Our Consumer Protection Unit will continue to fight back against scammers on behalf of Georgia consumers, and we are glad to see that money from this settlement will now be rightfully returned to those affected.”

The refund program follows a settlement with the Western Union Company, which in January 2017 agreed to pay $586 million to resolve charges brought by the FTC and the U. S. Department of Justice. The FTC alleged that fraudsters were able to use Western Union’s money transfer system to get payments from their victims, even though the company was aware of the problem and received hundreds of thousands of complaints about fraud-induced money transfers made for fraudulent lottery and prizesfamily emergenciesadvance-fee loansonline dating and other scams. The company also allegedly failed to promptly discipline problem Western Union agents, and failed to have effective anti-fraud policies and procedures.

Affected consumers should go to FTC.gov/WU to file claims, learn more, or get updates on the claims process.

Some people who have already reported their losses to Western Union, the FTC, or another government agency will receive a form in the mail from the claims administrator, Gilardi & Co. The form will have a Claim ID and a PIN number to use when filing a claim online via FTC.gov/WU. Gilardi was hired by Justice Department, which is responsible for returning victims’ money as part of its settlement with Western Union.

WARNING: Filing a claim is free, so consumers should not pay anyone to file a claim on their behalf.  No one associated with the claims process will ever call to ask for consumers’ bank account or credit card number.